What is Harassment?

What is harassment?

There are a few different degrees and levels of harassment. NY Penal Code S 240.26 defines Harassment in the second degree as;

“A person is guilty of harassment in the second degree when, with
intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person:
1. He or she strikes, shoves, kicks or otherwise subjects such other
person to physical contact, or attempts or threatens to do the same; or
2. He or she follows a person in or about a public place or places; or
3. He or she engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts
which alarm or seriously annoy such other person and which serve no
legitimate purpose.”

Harassment in the first degree is charged when the defendant has made intentional and repeated acts of the above which gives the victim a reasonable fear of physical injury. The crime is upgraded to Aggravated Harassment when the harassment includes use of written or mechanical communication. This includes telephone, email, recordings etc… An upgraded charge of Aggravated Harassment also occurs there is a previous conviction of Harassment or when it is done because of a

“belief or perception regarding such person`s race, color, national
origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability
or sexual orientation, regardless of whether the belief or perception is
correct” – NY Penal Law S 240.30.2 Aggravated harassment in the second degree.

Crimes due to the above are considered “hate crimes”. Aggravated Harassment in the first degree is a Class E felony.

Does posting on someone else’s Facebook page considered Harassment? It could be. Depending on the facts of the case. It could also be considered a form of Cyber- bullying or Cyber-stalking based on the particulars of the case. Facebook has a page with more information regrading this at http://www.facebook.com/help/search/?q=cyber+bullying
Harassment, bullying, and stalking are serious crimes. Convictions can carry sentences of several years in prison. If you or someone you know is a victim of one of these crimes, its important to report all communications with the assailant to the proper authorities. If you have been charged with any of these crimes, it’s important that you seek the advice of an attorney experienced in criminal law.  If you should have any questions about a particular matter and your charges are in Onondaga, Oneida, Madison, or Jefferson County, don’t hesitate to call us at 315-701-2939 or find us on the web at bestsyracuselawyers.com for a free initial consultation.

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